A controversial increase to the Missouri gas tax will have its fate decided soon.
A federal judge may decide the fate of a proposed gas tax increase soon. The measure was passed in a bill passed earlier this year. Some have challenged the constitutionality of the measure.
A judge heard arguments this week and may issue a ruling as early as next week.
Legislators approved the referendum in the closing hours of this year’s legislative session, tacking the gas tax issue onto a bill authorizing a tax deduction for Olympic medals.
There is a difference between a referendum and a bill. A referendum would be sent to the ballot for voters to decide on in the fall. A bill goes to the governor’s desk and bypasses the voters.
“They passed a bill using unconstitutional, illegal procedures,” said Ron Calzone, who filed the suit with State Rep. Mike Moon.
The proposal would increase Missouri gas taxes by 10 cents and is expected to bring in an additional $293 million annually for the state. Tentatively, the revenue would be put towards road and infrastructure repair.
The fate of the measure is in flux though governor has signaled his support for the increase.
Whatever the outcome, it serves as a reminder that states and cities often have their own taxes. The Missouri gas tax is currently one of the lowest in the nation. However, the proposed 10 cent increase would elevate Missouri above the national average.
Few people are going to move out of Missouri if there’s a modest increase to gasoline taxes. However, it does punctuate the fact that your cost of living will vary based on where you live.
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